It's very important to me, the idea of the scale of good and bad, of beauty and suffering. I think we should do everything we can to increase the beauty and to take away from the suffering. We have to work hard to tip the scale in the direction of good.
Whether it’s a kid at school or a politician on tv, beware of someone who tries to blame the world’s problems on a minority or some other group of people who are different.
It’s a cheap tactic to get people riled up and afraid.
You can’t grow in faith (or character or friendships) without learning to be humble. To forgive. To listen without agenda. To allow for the possibility you may be in the wrong.
Ask for help. God will give it.
When someone introduces themselves as transgender, it’s no big deal. Simply say “nice to meet you” or “cool.” Then politely ask “What are your pronouns?” And then you know how they prefer to be addressed.
Don’t be a mooch!
Contribute: To your home, your relationships, your work, your community, your church, your country, the world.
Think about how much you get from all these things. It’s so much more from all these things than you could ever pay back, but that doesn’t mean you don’t try.
Dig in and contribute wherever you can. Never free-load. That’s not who we are. Be brave and contribute your talent, treasure or whatever you can. Duty and compassion both demand it.
To my boys: Personally I believe the boy / man should pay when out on a date. Always be prepared to pay - but sometimes a girl / woman wants to pay or split the check. Don’t push back on that. Make sure she knows it would be your pleasure to pay because you want to show her a good time and spoil her, but that you understand that paying a check doesn’t put her in your debt. Instead, your motto should be “If you’re comfortable, I’m comfortable.” And that goes for a lot of categories including sex/ physical contact. And to my girls: Always be prepared to pay, offer to pay often. It’s a sad fact that some men feel they’re owed something if they spring for dinner. On a date you are never obligated to do or say anything you don’t want to. Never.
"Surround yourself with people who trust and get YOU." - Josh Groban, High Point University 2018 commencement address.
Note, I love that quote because it speaks to having a tribe, a close group of friends. But it's also important to surround yourself with people who challenge you, who may not agree with you or have the same perspective as you do.
You don’t have to like everyone you go to school with, or work with. You don’t even have to like your family!
BUT, you have to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
They are worthy of that no matter what your opinion of them may be.
Physical contact between two people is only fun / appropriate / legal / healthy if both people are into it.
If one party objects, demurs or even acts less-than-interested, that’s the ballgame. Stop physical contact immediately. Be kind and respectful at all times.
“If you don’t know what hurts me, how can you say you love me?”
From a story told by Rabbi Levi Yitzhak
....Do you know what causes him pain or anxiety? What he’s afraid of?
In an age-appropriate way....Talk about our fears and the things that hurt us. He will see it’s normal to have fear and pain, and he will learn he can come to me with anything that troubles him.